Book Review: The Honest Life

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In my previous life (i.e. my pre-babies life), I never really gave a second thought to the chemicals I put inside and onto my body. I, like most young people, never looked at nutrition labels or the ingredients on the back of the package. Cake for breakfast? Sure. Diet coke and a microwave baked potato for dinner? Why not. Like I said, these were pre-baby days. Days when I only had me, myself and I to look after.

The moment I found out about the little creature growing in my belly I felt a shift. Suddenly, my decisions didn’t just have an impact on me. I was hyper aware of the fact that what I put into my body would be directly responsible for forming my child from the inside out. For the first time in my life the word “nutrients” meant something to me. And as for those food labels and ingredient lists I’d long been ignoring? I took a peak. And the list of words on those packages that I couldn’t pronounce, let alone tell you what they mean, was staggering. And terrifying. And I knew I had had to make a change.

That’s when I found Jessica Alba’s book, The Honest Life. It was the tagline on the book’s cover that really caught my attention: “Living naturally and true to you.” Boom. Exactly what I was looking for.

Disclaimer: Jessica Alba is stunning. And seems to live a fairy-tale life. BUT DON’T BE TURNED OFF BY THIS. This book is not umm, shall we say Goop-y? This book is not another Gwyneth-esque my life is awesome, yours should be too, here’s how to do it. Rather, it is full of useful information that is actually applicable to real life. Read: REAL LIFE. You don’t have to have an income of X to relate to this book.

Jessica starts her book with her own story. Like all new moms, she wanted to create the healthiest, and safest environment for her family. She was frustrated though by the severe lack of options available. The way she saw it, there were two options for products: 1. commercialised, chemically fraught products, or 2. eco-friendly and safe, but totally unusable, didn’t work, organic products. It was within this gap in the market that she launched her company, The Honest Company, a brand that she hoped parents could come to to find reliable information and products that were safe, stylish, and affordable.

The Honest Life is a recollection of Jessica’s journey into motherhood and her drive to fill this incredibly important gap in the childcare market. She explains the decisions she makes in her own home, be it the flooring she chose or the types of paint that are safe to have around kids, and shares her strategies for incorporating a cleaner diet into your family’s kitchen with really great, easy recipes. She also lists ideas for activities with the kids, like some new crafts and fun games.

The overall impression that I took away from the book is that it’s the story of a real mom with some really good ideas on living a healthy life. Yes, she does have some “this is good, this is bad” parts in the book. But that’s what I was looking for. I needed someone who had put in the time to research what is healthy for my family and who could explain why something else was unhealthy. It is a how-to book. But it’s goal is for the reader to understand how to live a bit “cleaner” and a bit healthier in a way that works for YOU. And that’s what I really loved about it: so much of it was totally applicable to my life.

I would absolutely recommend this book to anyone who is looking to make even just a few, small changes toward cleaning up around the home. Grab a copy here, you won’t be sorry!


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